Rolling Without Limits

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Tweet for a Wheelchair
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Tweet for a Wheelchair

Social media has become prevalent all over the world.  Online platforms like Facebook and Twitter are used every day by millions of people, to connect with others and to share with them the most important moments of their lives.

But while many people do realize that such platforms are great for reaching out to their friends and family, not as many are aware of all they can truly achieve with these websites. People can do much more than just post status updates or tweet about what they are doing. This fact has been made clear by Rebecca Frech, who effectively used Twitter to get her disabled daughter a new wheelchair.

A Sudden Mystery

Rebecca’s daughter, Ella, was 9 years old when she lost her ability to walk all of a sudden. She was diagnosed with enterovirus D68, which causes effects similar to polio in people with weak immune systems. As a result of this infection, Ella lost sensation in her legs and couldn’t walk again.

The doctors were baffled at how a healthy girl like Ella could suddenly lose the abili 27b6 ty to walk. She had healthy and muscular legs, and yet the infection took an extreme toll. None of the doctors that the family went to could come up with a final diagnosis. However, one thing had been made clear; Ella needed a wheelchair.

Hoop after Hoop to Jump Through

Getting a wheelchair for Ella would mean spending almost $5000, which the family couldn’t afford. In order to get a wheelchair through their insurance company, the family needed to provide a diagnosis. Without a proper diagnosis, the company refused to help Ella.

This is when Rebecca’s friends started raising money on GoFundMe so that Ella could get a wheelchair. But even though they did manage to buy her a used wheelchair, it wasn’t very comfortable for long-term use.

The family gathered all the information they could about Ella’s problem and knocked on their insurance company’s doors again. They requested for a lighter wheelchair so that Ella could easily move around. The family wanted to get the Box wheelchair for Ella, which is designed for sports-related activities. However, once again the family was denied.

Taking Social Media by Storm

After being denied by their insurance company three times, Rebecca had had enough. She decided to tweet about whatever was happening to her daughter’s life and the company’s denial to get her a much-needed wheelchair.

She started a hashtag, #ellaneedswheels, and tweeted regularly about her frustration. It was sheer luck that Chevrolet mistook her hashtag to be about a car. The automobile giant retweeted the hashtag before realizing what was going on, and that’s all Rebecca needed for her tweets to go viral.

Seeing the number of people retweeting the hashtag, the Escalation Department of the insurance company was forced to get in touch with Rebecca, and the Box chair that the family had requested was approved within a matter of days.

This story is a perfect example of the true power of social media. Rebecca’s simple decision to vent her frustration over Twitter led to the family’s victory. Rebecca is now helping others who are in similar situations to use social media in order to gain people’s support.

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